Doesn’t it always seem your vehicle is emergency-free until the moment you’re looking at an expired vehicle warranty? The last thing you want to feel is the regret of knowing that you could’ve done something to avoid a lapse in coverage or a major hit to your bank account. So what do you do when your regularly maintained, relatively problem-free vehicle is nearing the end of its coverage?
1. Take a Close Look at Your Maintenance Record – What has the dealer or the shop been telling you (or not telling you)? Persistent noises, recurring issues, some common wear and tear you’ve been putting off…get it checked out. Even if you’ve maintained your vehicle, there are going to be things you’ve either decided to “wait on fixing” or that a different mechanic could find. Most mechanics are great and have your best interest at heart, even if it seems like they are after the contents of your wallet. Ask them, to the best of their knowledge, if they’ve seen any issues with similar vehicles or your model specifically. Recalls, common issues and make/model-specific research should all be taken into account as your vehicle warranty is about to expire.
2. Define What You’re Currently Getting From Your Warranty – Your current and basic manufacturer warranty could have quite honestly been that…basic. Before the time runs out and if you didn’t know already, do your homework on what you knew was covered and what you want to be covered in the future. If you’ve been paying car payments or warranty payments monthly, you’re used to the expense of having a reliable vehicle. What you’re not used to is the surprise repair bill that comes after the expired vehicle warranty. It’s often a good idea to shop coverage and invest in an extended warranty. Our bet is that it’s better coverage than you had initially anyway.
3. Get Multiple Opinions – Depending on the length of your warranty, we could advise for and against getting multiple opinions on the state of your vehicle. If your car is 30,000 miles old, it might not be as urgent to take the time, effort and expense to visit multiple shops. But if your warranty is pushing the 60,000 or 75,000-mile mark, go ahead and have a couple people look at it. Have the manufacturer/dealer give it a once over, and knowing that they might not prefer doing warranty-related repairs, take your vehicle to an independent mechanic as well. Chances are you may get two very different verdicts.
4. Shop Around – It is in the best interest of the manufacturer not to wiggle on warranty. It opens them up to potential litigation and seemingly open-ended battles on what is covered and not covered. That means your options for coverage are sometimes/often times better elsewhere.
5. Share Your Experience – It’s been proven that online reviewers and yelpers alike usually only share when the experience is either very good or very bad. Memorable nonetheless. You’ll rarely catch an online review or testimonial of something mediocre, though a lot of times that’s exactly what the business needs to hear. Dealerships, repair shops, lenders, etc., despite what you think, care about what you think and say. In the world of social media and the most open communication we’ve ever seen, word-of-mouth is extremely powerful. Was your vehicle reliable? Was your mechanic trustworthy? Was the dealer fair? Let them know and who knows, you may have some leverage and negotiating power in the future. Don’t let your vehicle have an expired vehicle warranty!
The last piece of advice is a given…make sure you’re covered. Average repair costs are no joke, and you should never risk being left with a financial burden, or worse, walking everywhere. Call us and we’ll let you know how we can help.